Following pressure from US prosecutors handling the case, former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as CZ) has been banned from leaving the United States until his sentencing date, which is scheduled for February 2024.
Judge Richard Jones, of the Western District of Washington, agreed with the Department of Justice, which approved, on December 7, the motion requested by the Prosecutor’s Office. It’s the same forcing the accused to remain in the country in the time between his guilty plea and sentencing.
Zhao, who pleaded guilty in November to running an unlicensed money transfer business, violating anti-money laundering rules and misleading investors, agreed. pay a personal recognizance bond of USD 175 million.
The agreement also establishes the search for guarantors to provide additional funding and he was allowed to leave the country. His return to the United States is scheduled two weeks before his sentencing.
However, days later, prosecutors asked the judge to annul the bail. They argued that there was a flight risk and that he would not be allowed to leave the US to return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country where Zhao lives with his wife and three young children.
In this regard, the defense lawyers of the former CEO of Binance argued that forcing him to stay in the United States was a burden on his family, who could not move to the country to join him.
They further cited various factors that eliminated the risk, including the fact that Zhao took full responsibility for his actions. They added that he showed his interest in obeying the law by his decision to travel to the United States to surrender y plead guiltywho is also a well-known public figure around the world.
Regarding this, the judge pointed out that “the defendant has stated reasons that in most cases would cause the government’s motion to be denied.”
However, he considered the extent of the defendant’s vast wealth and the absence of an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates. He also considered that since CZ’s family lived in that Middle Eastern country, there was no indication that he had other ties to the United States.
The magistrate clarified that the ban on leaving the country allowed Zhao to travel within the United States, his family is also free to visit him. “There are no restrictions on the defendant’s liberty within the country pending sentencing.”
As reported by CriptoNoticias, the hearing for the imposition of the penalty is expected to take place in February next year. The former CEO of Binance could be sentenced to more than 18 months in prison.